COLUMBUS — A pair of Ohio lawmakers from the Tri-State introduced legislation in the Ohio House requiring gun owners in the state to keep firearms in “safe storage, equipped with a tamper-resistant lock” if there are children in the home, according to a news release.
The Child Access Prevention law was introduced by State Rep. Brigid Kelly, a Cincinnati Democrat, and State Rep. Jessica Miranda, a Forest Park Democrat, this week.
The state representatives cite a 2018 study from Giffords Law Center which found 4.6 million minors live in U.S. homes with at least one loaded, unlocked firearm.
“As a concealed carry permit holder myself, I support the right to responsibly bear arms, but join the majority of Ohioans who want to see more commonsense gun safety measures to keep children and families safe,” Miranda said in a written statement.
Ohio law requires federally licensed firearms dealers to offer the sale of “a trigger lock, gun lock, or gun locking device that is appropriate for that firearm” to buyers. The locking device law does not require that device be purchased.
“Last year, more than 40,000 Americans lost their lives to gun violence,” Kelly said. “Solutions to prevent gun violence exist—we just need the courage to implement them.”
Under the proposed law, gun owners would be required to store firearms using a device that makes the weapon inaccessible or inoperable by a minor, the release said.
Miranda and Kelly said the number of children hurt in school shootings is a motivator behind the proposed law. The Giffords Law Center found that in 65 percent of school shooting cases, the attacker used a firearm that was kept at home, or the home of a relative.
“This bill is an essential step to prevent the type of school shootings that have become far too familiar in our country,” Miranda said. “We are past the time for thoughts and prayers. This crisis demands action.”
The Child Access Prevention law will be assigned to a committee once it receives a bill number.